Allergies

Allergies are one of the most common health problems for pets. An allergic reaction happens when the immune system overreacts to some material such as pollen, dust, a food ingredient, or an insect bite. The immune system’s job is to protect the body from foreign and potentially infectious substances. Once these materials are detected, the immune system starts to pump out large amounts of white blood cells and histamines into the bloodstream. The results are itchy skin, runny eyes, ear infections, licking, and biting.

The best way to control these miserable allergy symptoms is to find out what your pet is allergic to; however trying to narrow down the culprit and remove it from your pet’s environment may be impossible. Luckily, there are other options to help reduce the discomfort. It might take some time to find the best treatment combination for your pet’s allergy and you may have to go through a series of trying a possible solution, waiting to see how your pet reacts to it, and moving on to another solution. The following is a list of possible treatments and how they work.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines work to block production of histamines by the immune system. They are effective at reducing itching and inflammation and they are relatively safe to use. However, the drawback is that they may cause your pet to feel drowsy and sluggish.

Symptomatic Treatments

Symptomatic treatments are effective by treating the symptoms as they arise. Treatment include: soothing shampoos and omega supplements for itchy skin, if your pet develops an ear infection your veterinarian can treat with ointment and wash. However, keep in mind these treatments will only provide temporary relief. If your pet still seems uncomfortable despite the baths or other treatments, regroup with your veterinarian.

Steroids

Steroids work to suppress the immune system and make the allergic reaction less severe. This is available by prescription and only recommended for short-term use because long-term use makes animals more prone to infection, as well as susceptible to diabetes and seizures. Steroid use can cause weight gain, increased thirst and urination.

Blood Testing

Blood testing can be used to analyze the immune systems response and determine the source of the allergy. The VARL allergy blood test searches for and identifies each of those special allergy-producing antibodies that may be present in your pet’s blood. By measuring the amount in the sample taken, VARL is able to identify the different substances causing your pet’s allergies.

Immunotherapy or Allergy Injections

Blood testing can be used to analyze the immune systems response and determine the source of the allergy. The VARL allergy blood test searches for and identifies each of those special allergy-producing antibodies that may be present in your pet’s blood. By measuring the amount in the sample taken, VARL is able to identify the different substances causing your pet’s allergies.